You can read my whole story below, but if you want the quick version...
Heavy, crampy periods at age 14, put on the pill at age 15, dealt with severe PMS until my late 30's. Also went through extreme tiredness, bloating, irritability etc, tender breasts, acne, hypoglycemia, insomnia, infertility (for just under a year), Post Natal Depression and anxiety. All due to my lovely hormones.
I eventually conquered it all through nutrition, specific supplements and mindset and lifestyle changes.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach - The Integrative Institute of Nutrition
Endorsed Epigenetics Health Coach - ph360
Advanced Hormonal Education - The Integrative Institute of Nutrition
Additional studies with Dr Helen Smith, holistic medical doctor
Online hormonal studies via Dr Andrea Huddleston.
That was the title of a book my husband once gave to me. As I was getting ready to hit him over the head with it, he quickly said, “turn it over! Read the back!”.
That’s when I saw it was a book about women suffering from PMS. He knew how much I was struggling with this. He’d been in the trenches. Lived in the war zone.
Most of the time I was a happy-go-lucky type of person. But the third week of every month, things would change. Tears, irritability, self-doubt, picking fights, insomnia, irrationality and just a feeling of “greyness” about my life. Sometimes I would just lie in bed and sob for no reason, wondering what on earth was wrong with me.
Then there was the physical side. Extreme tiredness, painful breasts, massive break outs on my face, cramping and extremely heavy periods. It would quite often knock me out for a few days and I’d be left grovelling in my bed.
I had been suffering this way since I was 14 years old. When I was 15, my mum took me to the doctors. Their answer was to put me on the pill (even though I wasn't sexually active then), which only masked symptoms and actually made my anger a lot worse.
Other than that, there didn't seem much more that they could do.
Fast forward to my early 30's. I was now married and had just had my first child when I was suddenly hit with a nasty case of Post-Natal Depression and anxiety (which I now know was due partly from out of balance hormones and his very traumatic birth).
I eventually managed to recover, but then getting pregnant with my second child seemed an impossible task and I was labelled with "unexplained infertility". It was around that time that I started researching, trying to figure out what on earth was "wrong" with me.
I soon discovered, that I was low in progestertone, demanded some pills from a fertility specialist, and wham-bam-thank-you-mam, a month later I was pregnant.
Even after the birth of my 3rd child, I was still struggling with my crazy hormones.
Most of the time, I was a pretty relaxed mum, but 2 weeks of every month, Psycho Mama came to town. Sometimes I’d be loving and kind and, the next thing, I’d be having a major melt down. I remember one time smashing a plate down on the bench so hard in anger that all the contents of it went flying up the wall and on to the ceiling, whilst the kid’s stood by looking shocked.
Afterwards I’d be wracked with guilt. Absolutely distraught that I’d lost it so badly with my babies.
Plus, I was putting on weight, feeling drained of energy and felt like I spent most of my time running around after everyone else and no time doing anything for me.
I kept trying different health supplements and searching for answers, but nothing seemed to work. I began just accepting that this was just the way it was, a women’s lot. I just had to try to deal with it.
Looking back on it now I am convinced I was suffering from undiagnosed PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).
Due to some other health issues that were going on for myself and hubby, I ended up seeing a Health Coach and a Holistic GP. It was discovered that my liver wasn't eliminating oestrogen effectively (meaning I was oestrogen dominant) and and that I was also low progesterone and in certain vitamins and minerals.
Hence the healing began.
We decided to clean up our diet.
I'll admit, it was hard at first.
We went from eating white bread and pasta to eating whole foods, so it felt like everything we were used to eating was suddenly off limits.
But I knew I had to reset my system and clean up my liver, so we stuck to it. We knew we had to.
And over time, things changed - hugely.
We suddenly found we didn’t want to eat all this junky processed food that we used to live on. We started to feel good! We both lost weight, our skin was glowing, we had more energy, were sleeping well and a whole lot of other niggly health issues just went away.
However, I knew it wasn't just about food. I also had to bring some balance to my life and learn some very important techniques to manage my emotions and take time for myself each day, no matter how busy I felt. Plus, supplement with certain vitamins and minerals so that my hormones (and adrenals) could regain balance.
And, just like that, my PMS disappeared.
The day my period arrived and I had no clue it was coming was a time I'll never forget. I was finally on the road to freedom.